JeffCo inmate with COVID-19 related symptoms dies after being found unresponsive in cell

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A Jefferson County inmate died Friday morning after being found unresponsive in his cell around 5:15 a.m. during a routine check.

Paul George Abeyta, 50, was being housed alone in a medical unit of the jail due to drug withdrawal protocol and reported COVID-19 related symptoms.

Deputies performed lifesaving procedures on Abeyta until just after 6 a.m. when he was pronounced dead.

Abeyta was arrested by Lakewood police on April 27. During the booking process, he mentioned he was suffering from symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath that began earlier that day.

He also mentioned he had been a daily heroin user for the past five years.

The sheriff’s office says Abeyta did not have a fever upon arrival or during any subsequent temperature check. However, he was isolated from other inmates due to his reported symptoms.

This is an ongoing investigation and the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office will determine the cause of death.

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